Workshop Schedule

Classroom Discipline through CI and Personalization in TPRS
4:00 – 6:45 p.m.
November 13, 2007
Summit Ridge Middle School
Littleton, CO

Rationale: When students sense that the instructor is attempting to force learning on them, they instinctively draw back. In the moment they draw back, distance is created, and discipline problems can result. We must find a way to draw our students into the learning. If we focus on the solution, one day we will go into our classrooms and the problems will be gone. Engaging students in interesting, personalized, and meaningful comprehensible input (CI) in the target language is the solution to the discipline issue.

Critical Point 1: Of all the details and skills a teacher must remember in asking a story in TPRS, the most critical is to begin a story in a spirit of openness to what can happen. Too many TPRS teachers have failed on this point – they try to force the story, which causes the kids to draw back. The teacher must be open to what can happen through circling.

Unfortunately, doing this brings fear into the mind of the teacher (What will happen? Will I keep control of the class?)  Do it anyway. Trust that the story will develop from the cute answers suggested by the kids. The teacher must teach while not knowing what will happen, ignoring their fear that the story might fall flat, and trusting that circling, not the teacher, will create the story. When the story is created in this way, classroom discipline is assured.

Critical Point 2: It doesn’t always have to be funny. The kids are in our classrooms to learn the language we are teaching them, not to come to a comedy club. As long as CI is occurring, that is enough. CI, however, depends on personalization, so in this workshop we will focus on both.


4:00 – 4:30 Cat Story. We will see a simple TPRS story without personalization.
4:30 – 4:45 Circling with Balls. We will see how personalized discussion changes a classroom and draws students in.
4:45 – 5:45 The Delicious Umbrella (by Amy Catania). We will see how a personalized story draws students in, thus establishing classroom discipline via interest.
5:45 – 6:45 Students leave. Q and A. Practice teaching.



2 Responses to “Workshop Schedule”

  1. Angie Pidgeon Says:

    Hey Ben,
    I just bought your book, PQA in a Wink!, and loved it. I am in the middle of creating my own realm – in my classroom, and so far have introduced most of the characters – what I am doing as a first step (not sure if this is what you do) – then I plan on circling and storying with the information from the different characters – anyway, so far, so good. But, how can I get a copy of Amy Canatia’s stories you talk about it his post, and are they in Spanish? I love variety – Thanks!

  2. inbal Says:

    Hi Ben,
    I just tumbled over this blog. Do you have a book called PQA in a Wink? or it’s just relating to your book TPRS in a Year?

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